EWL welcomes the entry in to force on the 1st of August of the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Known also as the “Istanbul Convention”, this convention obliges governments that have ratified it to counter all forms of violence against women. They will have to take specific steps to fight rape and sexual violence, stalking, sexual harassment, domestic violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
EWL has been very active with its member organisations to promote the Convention, organising public events that have taken place around the 16 days of activism against ‘violence against women’ in 2013, the Act against Rape Campaign.
This joint project with the Council of Europe, was based on the results of the EWL Barometer on rape in Europe 2013, analysing the positive changes that the Istanbul Convention can bring with a special focus on sexual violence, including rape. In their research, they focused on the possible ways forward in each country, the obstacles to overcome and the progress to accomplish in order to improve legislation, services and data collection mechanisms.
“All need to act now to improve the lives of the many women and girls who are subjected to violence, simply because of their gender,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in a video message today, urging remaining member states to sign and to ratify the convention.
EWL will continue to act to further the application of the Convention in all of the countries which ratified it, and to ensure other countries to move forward in the process. It will also taking part to the international conference organised by the Council of Europe and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs next 19 September in Rome.